More than a year ago I wrote an article about how important “capacity management” was in agile teams. To be clearer the point was really…realistic capacity management.
At the time, I’d just come off a coaching roll where I’d encountered quite a few organizations that were pushing their teams too hard. Not slightly over their capacity, but two, three, four or more times their healthy capacity. And this created some distinct side effects:
- Employee satisfaction and morale was down and attrition was up. And they didn’t just loose their average people, they were losing their best people;
- Product quality was usually in a crisis mode and customer trust was continuously eroding;
Not that long ago, I received an email from someone in the Northwestern part of the US. They were thinking of moving to agile approaches and they wanted to pick my brain surrounding the logistics of “going Agile”. It was an introduction of sorts, but it was also an assessment.
They were assessing whether I knew what I was talking about and whether they’d allow me to help them. They were also assessing cultural fit. But I was also assessing. Were they “ready” to try agile, were they serious about it, were they self-aware, and would I like to work with them.
It was a great meeting and it led to some interesting follow-up activity. But I remember a conversation distinctly to this day that I wanted to share with you.